Nel's New Day

October 19, 2022

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

In Utah, Sen. Mike Lee, being overtaken by unaffiliated Evan McMullin, desperately campaigned for a return to the U.S. Senate with nasty responses to McMullin level and factual presentation about Lee’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). McMullin said:

“Senator Lee, you sought to find a weakness in our system. You advised the White House, find an alternative slate of electors for Trump to overturn the will of the people. That’s what you said [about states sending alternative slates to vote for DDT] …

“You said the president should listen to legal quack Sydney Powell, ‘Please make time for her, let her in,’ you told the White House chief of staff. You told the president that you were working overtime—14 hours a day, I think you said—to unravel this for him, to keep a president who had been voted out of office according to the will of the people in power despite the will of the people. Senator Lee, it is a betrayal of the American republic. You were there to stand up for our constitution, but when the barbarians were at the gate you were happy to let them in.”

Lee answered, “I disagree with everything my opponent just said, including the words ‘but,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the.’”

Lee begged for Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) endorsement on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show, a program that regularly roasts Romney. Pundits with short memories slam Romney for no endorsement, but Lee refused to endorse Romney in 2018 and gained his first Senate term in 2010 by destroying popular GOP senator, Bob Bennett, for not being sufficient right-wing. Again desperate, Lee wrote an op-ed glorifying himself in third person “he.”  

A.B. Stoddard has an excellent piece on Lee’s need for power so great that he faithfully follows DDT after rejecting him in the beginning. 

In Ohio, J.D. Vance, another DDT endorsement, faced off with Tim Ryan for the U.S. Senate in a close battle rife with anger and lies. Ryan pointed out Vance’s praise for Alex Jones as an example of Vance’s extremism. Vance denied he said that “Alex Jones is a far more reputable source of information than Rachel Maddow,” but a screen shot of his tweet proves Ryan was right. A believer in the GOP “replacement theory” that Democrats were trying to replace all white people with minorities, Vance tried to hide behind his biracial child. His wife is Indian American. He frequently connects President Joe Biden’s southern border policies with increased fentanyl trafficking in his state, accusing Biden of trying “to kill a bunch of MAGA voters in the middle of the heartland.”

In the debate, Vance followed the DDT party line, dismissing the House investigation into the insurrection. The attack on Ryan’s voting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) came from Ryan’s statements in the first debate about DDT’s remark regarding Vance’s “kissing my ass” to get his support. Ryan said Vance should move back to San Francisco if he wants to run against Pelosi. 

Vance has joined the crazy QAnon conspiracy theory of kitty litter boxes in schools for “furries, ”the evidence-free belief about students pretending to be cats, and said he wants the school to tell him if his child “identifies as a chipmunk.” Despite multiple claims from losing GOP candidates, only one school districts keeps kitty litter in classrooms: a Colorado school keeps it in “go-to” buckets for children’s use during school shootings.

In another evidence-free claim, Vance said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law is to ban “sexually explicit material that propagandizes and encourages children to take different identities and to engage in sexually explicit acts.” The law highly restricts any discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity.  

More about Vance.  

In Georgia, DDT-endorsed Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate survived one debate telling his lies, including holding up a child’s “Junior Ranger Badge” for law enforcement in violation of debate rules he had signed. He skipped the debate at the Atlanta Press Club. His opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, used the extra time to describe Walker’s domestic violence and lies. A former state senator and GOP chair said people took “comfort” about Walker’s “ability to stand up … and look like he’s fundamentally in charge of … himself.”

Immediately after the announcement of the first abortion, a prayer circle hosted by First Baptist Church Pastor Anthony George called for Walker’s divinely anointment. About pointing a gun at his wife’s head and threatening to kill her, he claims to be redeemed. In far-right Christian evangelical lexicon, Walker paid to have his own child murdered, but they abandoned  the teachings of Jesus to control the U.S. Senate. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Warnock, a pastor, an “abomination.” 

A third candidate, Libertarian Chase Oliver, participated in the debate. A gay man, Oliver attacked Walker’s anti-LGBTQ stance. If no one receives at least 50 percent of the vote on November 8, a run-off on December 6 between the top two will determine the winner. Republicans moved up the timing since the last Senate election as well as eliminating any new voter registrations between Midterms and the run-off, trying to avoid their problems in 2021 when they lost two Senate seats.

In the past two weeks, Walker admitted he lied about not knowing the ex-girlfriend, mother of one of his illegitimate children, and paying her; denied he urged her to get another abortion two years after the first one; and uses his book, published two years before the ex-girlfriend’s first abortion, to excuse himself because he was saved “by the grace of god.” Walker claimed abortion kills babies but there “was nothing to be ashamed of” if the claims are true.

Perhaps trying to divert the media from the abortions’ stories, Walker claimed his grandmother was “full-blood Cherokee” and his mother “part Native American, a big part.” Walker’s mother said she couldn’t confirm his claims,” and the Cherokee Nation, which keeps excellent records, has no evidence of Walker’s claim. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed to have Native American ancestry, she was ridiculed for years; Walker’s lie was barely a blip on the radar.

Walker is the classic deadbeat dad who he claims to hate. He’s a typical poorly-parented adolescent who lies to get out of trouble, tells really bad, pointless jokes like the one on bulls and cows, threatens to beat up or kill people, and runs away from all his responsibilities. DDT didn’t even go to Georgia to support his own candidate. Instead, surrogates Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rick Scott (R-FL) were sent, and Cotton was forced to laugh at transgender servicemembers along with Walker. Although Walker never served in the military, he claimed to do “lots of things in the military,” and his son is gay. Cotton also lied when he claimed to be “a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said he couldn’t vote for Walker but can’t vote for Warnock. He described himself and “hundreds of thousands of other Republicans here in Georgia … confused. We don’t really have anywhere to go right now.” Mistaking Duncan for a TV pundit, Walker disparaged his statements. Polls are all over the place in Georgia from a two-percent lead for Walker to a 12-percent lead for Warnock. Early voting started last Monday with big crowds.

Joe Scarborough called Walker “the perfect lab experiment on just how low Republican voters are willing to go.” According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, DDT “wants to show that nothing matters.” The more DDT and MAGAs abolish the rules, the less the rules count.

More about Walker.

Also in Georgia, a debate between Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat opponent Stacey Abrams in the gubernatorial election drew much less notice, likely because of no buffoon for the policy-based event. and the hour-long event was policy-based. Four years ago, Kemp was able to purge voter rolls and otherwise control the election while he was Secretary of State; this year, he commands the field as an incumbent who has not destroyed the state and can still control some campaign financing to benefit himself.

Abrams presented a list of Georgia’s problems—spiking crime, rising home prices, and Chinese government’s purchase of the state’s farmland. Kemp attacked her on a position of “defund the police,” touting his endorsements, but she pointed out that endorsements are typically related to long-entrenched power in the state. His answer to any question was that Georgia reopened the state’s businesses and schools earlier than any other state in 2020, including those about racial disparities, local economy, expanding Medicaid, and budget surplus.

Kemp also signed a law permitting anyone in Georgia to carry a firearm without a license after the mass shootings in 2021. He claimed he wouldn’t seek any further restrictions in laws or contraception although he secretly expressed an openness to these changes. Georgia already blocks abortions after six weeks before many women are unaware of a pregnancy. Caught on audio, he claimed he was just humoring his audience. He does want a law stopping “divisive concepts” and a “parent’s bill of rights”—meaning white nationalist curriculum and only conservative parents’ “rights.”

In a Wisconsin debate, an audience laughed at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) when he whined about being “set up” by the FBI to explain why he had to be warned that the Kremlin tried to make him a “Russian asset.” He claimed that the FBI used “a corrupt briefing and then leaked that to smear me.” Johnson blamed the laughter on college students who might have sneaked into the debate because they are “taught leftist propaganda” and called the January 6 insurrection “peaceful” by “people … that truly respect law enforcement [who] would never do anything to break the law.”  

Johnson is paying a law firm connected to a January 6 probe into overturning the 2020 election. The campaign listed expenses as “recount,” indicating he may be getting ready for a loss in three weeks. Johnson also received donations from a DDT attorney accused in the state’s fake elector effort. Asked the usual question to say something positive about his opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Johnson said he wanted to know why “he turned against America.” Johnson was booed.

Other Johnson policies: retirees should go back to work, Social Security and Medicare will disappear if they aren’t voted in every year, and he doesn’t know if he will accept defeat. Johnson is also open to the conspiracy theory that COVID vaccines cause AIDS and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Plus more.

October 12, 2022

Ohio Struggles with Flawed Candidates, Oppressive Voting Systems

More states are opening up to early voting, including Ohio where J.D. Vance debated Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate on October 10. A new study shows Ohio 41st in access to voting. Of the tren categories, the two most important are ease of registration and early voting availability. New Hampshire has the most difficult ranking but still has the seventh-highest turnout rate in 2020. Oregon is easiest in voting with the sixth-highest turnout. Ohio turnout ranked 27th. “Early voting” in Ohio requires going to the local county board of elections.

Although Ohio remains almost evenly split between the two major parties, gerrymandering turned its political control red with GOP supermajorities in both state House and Senate. That advantage allowed the passage of an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest after six weeks when many women don’t know they are pregnant. Fifty-two percent of the state’s voters object to this law, but legislators said they intend a more restrictive ban after they are elected along with highly restrictive voting laws.

Legislators also ignored a series of 4-3 rulings from the state Supreme Court that their gerrymandering is unconstitutional. They waited out the calendar with several new variations not repairing the problems and then moved forward with their own map for November. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave Ohio an “F” for manipulation achieving “significant” partisan advantage. In 2021, Ohio also purged almost 98,000 voters from the registration rolls, forcing them to re-register to vote. An appeals court ruled in 2016 that the purges violate federal law, but the conservative Supreme Court overturned the lower court in 2018.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) continues to lie about voter fraud, but the GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose determined that only 0.0005 of the 5.9 million registered voters casting ballots in 2020 were fraudulent. Yet LaRose directed the 88 county boards of elections to increase security requirements and set up a website where people can submit anonymous tips about election fraud. Conspiracy theorists are inundating county boards of elections with records request about 2020. Last August a man went into a polling place at an elementary school and threatened to shoot up the voting machines.

LaRose was overturned in his refusal to put a Democratic House candidate on the November ballot. The court ruled that the state Secretary of State “acted in clear disregard of this court’s case law and created an impermissible legal absurdity based on the anomalous primary election held on August 2.” LaRose said there was enough time for the candidate’s name to go on ballot. Last month another state Supreme Court ruling overturned LaRose’s to keep an unaffiliated candidate, an election denier, off the ballot for Secretary of State to run against himself and a Democrat.  

Ohio is one of 30 states to elect state Supreme Court justices this year; three of the four Republicans on the court will be determined in November. One of them is the retiring Chief Justice who leaves because of age limits and has frequently broken with others in her party during redistricting cases this year, joining the three Democrats. For the first time this year, the candidates will have their party listed with their names on the ballot, indicating the political nature of the Ohio judiciary.

One of the most publicized races in Ohio is the one for U.S. Senate between Tim Ryan and DDT-endorsed J.D. Vance. Polling is all over the place from Ryan having a sizeable lead to being tied with Vance; the question is whether Ohio has enough MAGA voters to follow DDT and if his baggage bothers Republicans. 

A Cleveland Plain Dealer profile of Vance pointed out that he has praised Curtis Yarvin, a self-proclaimed monarchist calling to a Julius Caesar to take power in the U.S. Vance referenced the era before Caesar’s dictatorship in his explanation:

“We are in a late republican period. If we’re going to push back against it, we’re going to have to get pretty wild, and pretty far out there, and go in directions that a lot of conservatives right now are uncomfortable with.”

The host on the interview agreed and discussed “extra-constitutional” remedies to be taken “if we want to re-found the country” and called voting an “ineffectual way” to “rip out this leadership class.” Vance stated he had been “radicalized” by “malevolent and evil” political opponents, wanting to purge them with “de-Nazification.” (Vladimir Putin, anyone?) After his election in 2024, DDT should fire all civil servants and replace them with “our people,” defy court orders blocking such an illegal action, and then “do what Viktor Orban has done,” according to Vance. The Hungarian “president” controls the media, judiciary, school curriculum, etc.

Vance’s 90-minute interview was on a podcast with John Goldman, who calls himself Jack Murphy and runs a secret men’s organization claiming all major U.S. institutions—higher education, media, government, unions, professional organizations, nonprofits, and corporations—have been “infiltrated, corrupted, demoralized” and aim to “control you forever.” Murphy wrote:

“Feminists need rape… It is our duty as men to save feminists from themselves. Therefore, I am offering rape to feminists as an olive branch.”

Together Vance and Murphy lamented U.S. culture and compared the Democrats to Nazis in Germany during the early 20th century. Once totally anti-DDT, calling him “America’s Hitler,” he justified his change by saying he had “lost sight” of “true American values” until his transformation.

Worried about taking the Senate, its GOP Leadership Fund dropped $28 million into radio and TV ads starting in September, which may have led to the tightening of the polling. The primary race for Vance, venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy, was largely financed by billionaire and PayPal founder Peter Thiel who had previously employed Vance. Ryan had outraised Vance by 4 to 1 in the 2022 second quarter.

Using the GOP style of hypocrisy, Vance has been campaigning with the pretense of being an anti-opiod China hawk who wants to control the drug industry and return jobs to the U.S. Yet he worked for a law firm representing several Chinese companies and lobbied for Purdue Pharma that manufactured OxyContin. His nonprofit, “Our Ohio Renewal,” had to be closed down after the public discovered he hired an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident who used Purdue-funded studies to minimize overprescribing painkillers in the opioid crisis. She also let Purdue vet her articles. Purdue donated at least $800,000 to AEI. Protect Ohio Values (POV), a Super PAC raising millions for Vance’s campaign, posted a “vulnerability analysis” online about Vance’s weaknesses.

Now virulently anti-LGBTQ, despite his major donor being gay, he slammed the “conservative legal movement” in 2020 and supported the Supreme Court’s ruling to block firing LGBTQ workers for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Vance also blasts Big Tech after getting $15 million Thiel.

Vance is also another carpetbagger, still claiming a homestead exemption for his Washington, D.C. on a home worth $900,000 in 2018 before moving into a Cincinnati mansion the next year. Now he targets education institutions as the enemy of conservatives, but took tens of thousands of dollars to using a network of higher education to promote his 2016 book through lectures, graduation speeches, and political talks. Then he called “education in America … the key to opportunity. Now he quotes President Richard Nixon, “The professors are the enemy.”

Writing about the Ryan/Vance debate, GOP columnist Mona Charon pointed out that Ryan had cut to Vance’s weakness, also exhibited by other DDT pets using the “rituals of alpha dominance and beta submission.” She elaborated:

“In the process of strutting as cock of the walk, Trump has emasculated every other Republican. He may look strong, but he demands that every other Republican become weak in his service. That satisfies (or partially satiates) Trump’s need for obeisance. But it presents a problem for the toadies who want to be considered leaders too.

“Men like Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have abased themselves to remain in Trump’s good graces. Cruz performed one of the most humiliating kowtows, tamely accepting insults to his wife’s appearance to say nothing of Trump’s lunatic assertion that Cruz’s father had a role in the Kennedy assassination. They all hold their manhoods cheap. And because Trump is vindictive, petty, and cruel, he couldn’t resist reminding an Ohio audience last month that J.D. Vance, the candidate he had come to support, but who had once been a Trump critic, was ‘kissing my ass’…

“Ryan [reminded views that … even after Trump had ‘taken his dignity away from him,’ Vance had returned to the stage to shake Trump’s hand and smile for the camera. Hitting the everyman theme, Ryan offered, almost with pity, that ‘I don’t know anyone I grew up with, anyone I went to high school with, who would allow someone to take their dignity like that and then get back on stage.’

“Ryan thus simultaneously elevated his own alpha status while reinforcing Vance’s weakness. Every Republican who has bent the knee to Trump—male or female—is vulnerable in this way.”

Yesterday was the election for the fattest bruin in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Winner Brown Bear 747 topped out at 68,105 votes over Bear 901 at 56,876 votes. The winner received its second crown, despite election fraud from spamming the Fat Bear Week poll and stuffing the ballot box.  

October 9, 2022

News – October 9, 2022 (Some Hopeful)

Twenty miles from Fort Myers (FL) where multitudes of homes were destroyed, a 4,600-resident model community at Babcock Ranch, a 100-percent solar-powered built-to-code storm-resilient town, suffered only ripped pool coverage, broken fence posts, downed trees, and a few missing shingles. It didn’t even lose power. Structures are on land 25 feet higher on average than surrounding communities, and buildings are specified for Category 4 hurricane winds of 145 mph. Drinking water wasn’t contaminated and never shut off from the water system and wastewater plant deep into an underground aquifer. The 700,000 solar panels owned by Florida Power & Light covering 900 acres suffered little damage. Population of the town is expected to grow to 50,000 with six million square feet of commercial space. Houses can be expensive, but some of them start about $300,000. Sadly, Florida will probably rebuild on the beaches with no regulations, and people will again be destroyed in another hurricane.

President Joe Biden’s administration has reunited 500 children separated by the zero tolerance border policy instated by former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The number is almost half the goal of over 1,100 separated children returned to their parents. About 200 families are being processed, and another 150 contacted by the government haven’t responded. Reunited families may temporarily stay in the U.S., and parents separated from their children have work permits for three years. The program also provides mental health service through non-profits. Some children have not seen their parents for four years. The cases meet the definition of torture, according to a study, because “U.S. officials intentionally carried out actions causing severe pain and suffering in order to punish and intimidate mainly Central American asylum seekers to not pursue their asylum claims.”

Headlines have lambasted President Joe Biden’s job losses the past month from 315,000 to 263,000 jobs, “the slowest month of hiring in 18 months” (Fox), after his administration created 10 million jobs in the past 20 months. Yet increasing employment edged down to unemployment of 3.5 percent, and real economists are delighted with the overall picture, predicting no recession.

Compare Biden’s record to that of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) who promised 25 million new jobs in a decade but ended up with 3.1 fewer million jobs when he left office than when he came into office. People might blame the COVID problems, but he increased jobs by only 6.6 million in his first three years and then badly mismanaged COVID in his last year. DDT left office with the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover in 1932. President Bill Clinton created 22.745 million jobs during his two terms followed by George W. Bush with 0.523 million new jobs in two terms.

In the 18 months since Biden’s rescue act, over 8 million people jobless in March 2021 now have jobs. Last year’s economy had its fastest growth since 1984, ending 2021 with a three-percent higher GDP than before the pandemic. Unfortunately, a hot economy also kicked off a higher inflation rate exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, higher prices for huge big business profits, and now the OPEC’s cut in oil production. People had money, and their purchases drove up prices. The Federal Reserve started to drive down prices by raising interest rates which angered people who want both low prices and low interest rates.

In one way to lower costs for people, Biden is tackling “junk fees,” the hidden costs from overdrafts on a bank account to terminating cellphone contracts early, usually impacting low-income people the most. The project goes through agencies controlling areas in which these fees predominate—banks, credit unions, debt collection, transportation, etc. For example, payments for credit card late fees fun $12 billion. Eliminating some of these fees may help problems with inflation. Some banks such as Capital One and Citibank have already done away with non-sufficient funds and overdraft fees. Wells Fargo dropped NSF fees but kept the overdraw ones after making $1 billion from January through September 2021.

Two states have delayed anti-abortion laws until litigation moves through the courts. One of the blocked laws is the 1864 anti-abortion legislation passed in Arizona passed during the Civil War, 48 years before Arizona became a state. In Ohio, a county judge blocked the state’s “heartbeat law,” eliminating any abortions after the law pretends an ultrasound noise at six weeks is an embryo’s heartbeat.

A dozen hypocritical Florida members of Congress joined both Florida senators and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to beg Republican Kay Granger (TX) for aid after Hurricane Ian despite their “no” votes on providing the assistance. At least one of them still stands by his “no” vote and praised his colleagues in the Florida delegation for the same action. Their objection is that other states could receive disaster assistance.

Republicans have continued their fury with the Democratic opposition to “trickle-down” economics, the theory that cutting taxes for the wealthy would allow them to hire more workers, a philosophy that failed for much of the 20th century and most recently failed in the 2017 GOP tax cuts for big business and the rich that financially benefited only these categories. Unfortunately, the good news of over 10 million jobs created since Biden’s inauguration and the increased buying power from congressional economic stimulus bills led to inflation and lower stock markets because business wasn’t prepared to provide goods and it raised prices for greater business profit.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott may have committed fraud by using federal COVID-19 relief funds for transporting migrants out of the state to northeastern U.S. as part of his anti-immigrant Operation Lone Star. In the 2021 regular session, Abbott persuaded the GOP legislature to approve $1.1 billion for border guards and their supplies but wanted more money. He called a special session to get for another $1.9 billion for another 1,800 guards/troopers and a border wall, Operation Steel Curtain. When Abbott reallocated funds from a number of agencies, he said nothing about using COVID funds and told them that “the agencies’ earlier appropriations have been fully funded with other sources.”

GOP legislators loudly shouted the word “socialism” for the new infrastructure law while grabbing the money and behind the scenes begging for funding before telling their constituents how they, who voted against the laws, are benefiting them. In one of dozens of requests, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) attacked what he called “President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar socialist wish list” and wrote Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about his support for the multimillion dollar grant to improve part of Highway 65 in his district. Emmer called it “a social justice measure.” Perhaps the most hypocritical and crazy congressional member, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) bitterly complained about the bill serving “the America Last’s socialist agenda” before writing three separate letters imploring for funding that would enhance quality of life with the projects he wants. Other congressional members—Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Reps. Elvira Salazar and Carlos Giménez (R-FL) Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Ashley Hinson (IA), Rep. Marwayne Mullin (R-OK)—took the same approaches to smear the bill and pleading for money.

Republicans almost always take the opposite position of President Joe Biden in anything he does, but in the case of the president’s pardons for federal convictions of cannabis possession, they’ve gone off the radar. From the RNC and the congressional and senate committees, only silence. From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), nothing. Just a couple of weak tweets about “soft on crime” from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), wannabe presidential candidate, and Fox network’s Laura Ingraham.

Last week for Tesla was the worst week since March 2020 when COVID was announced. Electric vehicle production and delivery numbers didn’t meet analysts’ expectations, over 21,000 short despite two new factories in Brandenburg (Germany) and Austin (TX). That was before Elon Musk posted his controversial solution to the Russian invasion that Ukraine should give them part of the Country that Russian president Vladimir Putin wants. Musk also said he was continuing his deal to buy Twitter but would charge cryptocurrency for posts.

Then Musk took China’s side against Taiwan for “peace reunification” in which China controls Taiwan—sort of like Musk recommended for Russia’s control of Taiwan. The response was the same as from Ukraine: Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim answered, “Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale.” Tesla has a large factory in China.

And an oldie but goodie from August. In McAllen (TX), an anti-LGBTQ church put on an unauthorized performance of the popular musical Hamilton that changed language to make it homophobic with its version of Christianity. One of the pastors lied about how “the Hamilton team” gave the church “the license to perform” their version, but Hamilton’s creators called them out on the falsehood. The pastor then admitted the church didn’t request or receive this permission and promised to destroy all images of the production, never stage it again, and pay damages. The pastor had depicted Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, as accepting Jesus Christ as his savior, and gave a sermon comparing homosexuality to drug use. Hamilton’s letters indicated his romantic feelings for his closest male friend, and the play’s creator Lin Miranda helped launch an initiative to support Florida’s Hispanic LGBTQ community. The money for damages goes to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition of LGBTQIA+ organizations.

July 14, 2022

Today’s News – July 14, 2022

Anti-abortionists attended a House hearing to spread their misinformation about what classifies as abortions to mitigate the negative reaction to their new cruel laws that force even ten-year-old rape victims to carry fetuses to full term. In a House hearing, Rep. Eric Swallwell questioned Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, about the case of an Ohio girl, 10, forced to go to Indiana because she had been pregnant for six weeks and three days—three days after the Ohio deadline to have an abortion.

Conservatives first claimed the story was a lie, and Fox network, unlike the Wall Street Journal didn’t even correct or amend their earlier erroneous reporting. Instead, Fox’s Jesse Watters, who had earlier called the abortion a “hoax,” then took credit for the arrest of the rapist with the term “illegal” used for the arrested man, moving the focus from the plight of the girl to the documented status of the arrested man. Watters also turned on the Indiana doctor Caitlin Bernard, who made the pregnancy and abortion public, when he said the rape wasn’t reported although her mother made a referral to children services that then told law enforcement. Townhall writer Matt Vespa attacked the left’s criticism of right-ring media instead of writing about the child being forced to leave Ohio for an abortion.

Indiana’s GOP AG Todd Rokita threatened the doctor who performed the abortion with losing her license, but Bernard filed a terminated pregnancy report within the required timeframe. Rokita had described Bernard as an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” and said “the legal review is still open.”

Foster testified in the hearing that an abortion for the girl “would not be an abortion” because “it would fall under any exception.” Swalwell continued to question her, asking if “a decision not to have a baby as a result of a rape” is not an abortion for a ten-year-old. She repeated her claim, saying that “it would not fall under any abortion restriction in our nation” because it’s “not an abortion.” A definition of abortion is “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.”

Erin Morrow Hawley, Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) wife and senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, also doesn’t know that ending an ectopic pregnancy, usually when the fetus tries to develop in a fallopian tube, is also an abortion because it terminates a pregnancy. Hawley claimed it wasn’t an abortion because it didn’t intend “to end the life of the child.”

Ohio’s AG Dave Yost denied that the girl had to “leave Ohio to find treatment” after he called the story a “likely fabrication” before the rapist confessed. Rep. Jim Jordon (R-OH) denies he said the rape was a “lie” after he posted it was and then deleted the message. An attorney from the far-right anti-abortion group National Right to Life Committee said the 10-year-old girl should have been forced to give birth. Ten states including Ohio have no exceptions for abortions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

As the investigation into the insurrection continues, the U.S. Secret Service has erased texts from January 5 and January 6, 2021. Homeland’s Security inspector general Joseph V. Cuffari, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), reported that the texts vanished “as part of a device-replacement program” despite a law that staff members must surrender the records. Text messages could reveal actions of DDT and the Secret Service on those days. Cuffari’s office is under investigation by the independent Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) for undisclosed allegations of misconduct. The program for new cellphones, begun just before Joe Biden’s inauguration, did not back up old text messages, possibly those sent and received by former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato, DDT’s former security detail leader Bobby Engel, and other Secret Service senior leaders.

The same problem of disappearing information occurred in 2018 with lost text messages investigating Hillary Clinton, following a Secret Service history of mysteriously vanished records and agency staff refusing to cooperate in providing information. One situation arose when a congressional committee requested records reportedly showing that the Secret Service received ample advance warnings and threats before President John F. Kennedy’s death. White supremacists and other organizations were plotting to kill President John F. Kennedy using high-powered rifles from tall buildings. The day after the request, Secret Service said records were destroyed as part of the normal culling of old archives.

Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the House January 6 investigative committee, said they will try to “construct” the missing text messages which could provide information about efforts to remove former VP Mike Pence from the Capitol and DDT’s attempts to join his supporters at the insurrection.

Senators claim they are close to a bipartisan agreement to clarify that the vice president performs only a ceremonial role in overseeing electoral college vote certification as part of a deal to overhaul the Electoral Count Act. The proposal would be referred to committees of jurisdiction to be further accessed before floor votes.

A Washington, D.C. police office corroborated the June 28 testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson about DDT’s heated exchange with his Secret Service detail on January 6, 2021 when he was told he couldn’t go to the insurrection at the U.S. Capital after his rally. The officer was in the motorcade; Hutchinson repeated Ornato’s account that an enraged DDT “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” and “then used his free hand to lunge towards” his Secret Service lead agent Robert Engel. Hutchinson testified that Ornato told her the story in front of  DDT’s driver, Engel, who did not dispute the account.

Texas is suing Biden over his new abortion guidance order warning hospitals and health workers would be in legal jeopardy if they refuse to treat patients who need an abortion. AG Ken Paxton’s lawsuit states that it violates doctors’ rights to not participate in terminating a pregnancy and the state’s right to control the procedure’s regulation. His case only covers the requirement for abortions in emergency circumstances to keep federal funding. A DDT-appointed judge will hear the case, and any appeal will go to the DDT-loaded Fifth Court of Appeals.

Republicans have argued that women who want abortions can always travel to get them, but GOP legislators blocked a law permitting this travel despite the fact that any medical procedure across states would be interstate commerce and fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Basically, women can’t get abortions and can’t travel in some states. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said prosecuting out-of-state abortions are like “fugitive slave laws.”

Every Republican House member voted against investigating white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the military. The amendment to the annual defense spending bill passed along party lines. Recently, violent neo-Nazis and white supremacists have been identified as active-duty military members. Four Republicans did vote for another amendment ordering the Government Accountability Office to produce reports assessing whether the FBI, DHS, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence were in compliance with “domestic terrorism transparency mechanisms” mandated by federal law. Last month, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act had one Republican vote and four other Republicans didn’t vote. It would create domestic terrorism departments in the FBI, DOJ, and Homeland Security to monitor, analyze, investigate and prosecute those crimes. All these bills now go to the Senate.

At her press briefing on July 13, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre talked about the 122-page budget plan from the conservative Republican Study Committee, Blueprint to Save America, presenting the perspective of most House Republicans. They’ve already been succeeding in parts of it such as drastically reducing nationwide abortion access and working to eliminate transgender rights. Other goals are significantly reducing the nation’s entire safety net, raising the age for Social Security benefits, no longer combatting clilmatge change, blocking prescription drug pricing reform, ending birthright citizenship, eliminating government agencies, and making it easier for all people to carry concealed weapons. The Blueprint.

A mile-long fleet of 52 yellow school buses went to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) Houston home with 4,368 empty seats representing the number of children killed by gun violence since 2020. The first bus had items from school shooting victims including a pair of worn-out checkered Vans from 15-year-old Gracie Muehlberger, who was killed at her Santa Clarita high school in 2019; a kindergarten graduation card with a smiling teddy bear on it, awarded to Sandy Hook victim Chase Kowalski; and a ​​LeBron James Miami Heat jersey adored by Joaquin Oliver, who died in the Parkland school shooting in 2018. The NRA Children’s Museum is the latest project from Joaquin’s father, artist Manuel Oliver who also delivered a letter to the home of Cruz, who has received $749,000 from the NRA, written by Joaquin when he was 12. He spoke to gun owners about his thoughts on gun control in the country.

 

June 6, 2022

GOP Definition of ‘Freedom’ Equals Mass Fear

Twelve days ago, 19 children and two teachers died in a Uvalde (TX) classroom while school district police chief Pete Arredondo, with no training in hostage situations, blocked 140 law enforcement officers representing 14 different agencies, including Border Patrol agents, from going into the classroom for 78 minutes. Also blocked was the Uvalde police force, who has active training in these situations and cost the town of 13,000 at least 40 percent of its budget. Motives for the 18-year-old’s shooter include lies by GOP Nevada state treasurer candidate and present Las Vegas city Council member Michelle Fiore who repeated false rumors that the cause was the drugs taken by the shooter because he was “transgendering,” which made his mind “defective.” Earlier Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) lied that the shooter was a transgender. “It’s a transsexual leftist illegal alien. It’s apparently your kind of trash,” he tweeted to a question about the shooter being the type of “trash” who supported Gosar and other of his similar ideological allies such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

A few days after the shooting, all law enforcement and state officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott stopped proving any information or holding press conferences, but AG Ken Paxton has initiated an investigation—into Twitter for possibly deceiving Texans with fake bot accounts. Conservative multi-billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Texas-based Tesla, threatens to withdraw his offer to purchase Twitter if the social media platform has over the estimated 5 percent bots it claims. Paxton said he had “a duty to protect Texans.”

Arizona GOP legislators are praising the law enforcement mistakes made in the Uvalde massacre. State Sen. Kelly Townsend explained how school shootings can’t be stopped and compared them to abortions, but she wants vigilantes to guard ballot drop boxes in upcoming elections. Her senator colleague Rick Gray, GOP majority leader, said school shootings are because “for decades, we’ve been teaching our children in school that there is no God.” Yet some state Republican lawmakers want teacher licenses pulled if they don’t carry guns in the classroom and teach lessons on religion. Any call for action from Democrats have been ignored. The GOP ignores needs for a stable water supply, mitigation of wildfires, and affordable housing.  

Ohio got on the GOP teacher-with-guns movement. A new law allows teachers to have firearms in their classrooms after completing 24 hours of training. Gov. Mike DeWine said he had “worked with the General Assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety.” The bill was opposed by major law enforcement groups, gun control advocates, and the state’s teachers’ unions. Ohio teachers can lose their licenses, however, if they talk to students about issues of race and ethnicity.

In New York state, where an 18-year-old killed ten people in a Buffalo grocery store ten days before the Uvalde massacre, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new laws to bolster existing ones and loopholes. New laws

  • Microstamping of bullets and new semiautomatic pistols to help law enforcement solve gun-related crimes.
  • Elimination of grandfathering high-capacity feeding devices.
  • Expansion of the “red flag” law taking guns from people who could be a threat to themselves or others to allow the involvement of more people, including healthcare professionals. It also requirements, not permits, law enforcement to seek an order with credible information.
  • Requirement of a license for purchasing semiautomatic rifles, former mandated only for handguns.
  • Age limit of 21 or higher to purchase semiautomatic rifles.
  • Expansion of a “firearm” definition to include any weapon not defined in the Penal Law that is designed or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive including modified firearms to be shot from an arm brace.
  • Restriction of bullet-resistant vests and armor to people in certain professions.
  • Criminalizing mass harms threats. 
  • Enhanced law enforcement reporting by law enforcement to state and federal gun databases—seized  or recovered guns to the criminal gun clearinghouse, participation in the ATF’s collective data sharing program, and the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the gun entered into the national crime information center.
  • Gun dealers required to enact uniform security and reporting standards and employee training on conducting firearm, rifle, and shotgun transfers, including identification of and response to illegal purchases with State Police inspections every three years.
  • Prohibition of those under 18 who are not accompanied by a parent from entering certain locations of a gun dealer’s premises.
  • Mandate for social media platforms to improve policies in responding to hateful conduct and “maintain easily accessible mechanisms” for public reporting.

Hochul said that the law was passed “in the name of the lives that have been lost, for the parents who will no longer see their children stepping off the school bus.” If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the New York concealed carry law, lawmakers will return to pass a new law to limit those who may be allowed these permits. Because of the state’s tough laws, most violent crimes use handguns, not AR-15 style rifles, from out of state.  

Almost half the Republicans, 44 percent, love their huge caches of guns so much that they prefer dead children to giving up their “freedom.” They say that the violent U.S. just has to live with mass shootings. Of all the people in the nation, however, 62 percent want a nationwide ban on semi-automatic rifles, used in two thirds of the mass shootings during the past three years. Support for “red flag” laws to stop gun purchases by people considered a danger to themselves or others are at 72 percent. In a new poll, 77 percent want the minimum age for buying an assault to be over 18—32 percent at 21 and 45 percent at 25. Support for federal background checks on all gun purchases is at 81 percent. All these percentages are over 60 percent, the number required to pass the Senate, but that 60 percent represents only 43.3 percent of the population—and most of them Republicans.

This 44 percent of Republicans stall with “thoughts and prayers,” using fake excuses such as mental illness and security issues for blame instead of the 400 million guns in the United States. Even without the new gun safety laws, New York’s death rate is 5.3 per 100,000 people, half the U.S. average and 18.5 percent of the 28.6 death rate per 100,000 people in Mississippi which has a 50-percent gun ownership. Red states have the highest rate of gun deaths and gun ownership; blue states have the lowest.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) complained about “elite” gun control advocates in government and media who have “great bulwarks of safety, from gated communities equipped with private security or, at the very least, from safe and expensive neighborhoods protected by high home prices and low crime rates.” In 19 months, Cruz has spent about one-half million dollars to a protection firm; as a Harvard graduate, Cruz belongs to the “elite.” His expenditure on “security” is slightly more than the gun lobby gave him.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who refused to traumatize children by requiring them to wear masks protecting them from COVID, wants to bring back veterans with guns to fill classrooms.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) is all for “stopping things before they happen” but not if it means gun safety regulations. No limiting access to deadly weapons, no “red flag” laws,” no keeping guns from “a 19-year-old.”  He claims these ideas are “unconstitutional” although the courts haven’t made that decision. His complaint about removing weapons through “red flag” laws takes away due process, but the procedure uses judicial reviews and court orders. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is the only recent prominent U.S. politician who wanted to violate due process in connection to guns. After an expelled student killed 17 people and wounded another 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (FL), DDT said, “Take the firearms first and then go to court.”

In 11 mass shootings this past weekend, at least 17 people died and over 60 were wounded in eight states from Pennsylvania where multiple shooters shot into a crowd enjoying Philadelphia nightlife to Chattanooga (TN) where another 3 people were killed and 14 injured near a nightclub. It was the second mass shooting there in a week. A drive-by shooting hit at least eight people at a graduation party with a 32-year-old woman killed and the others wounded, six or seven age 17 or younger. In Arizona, a 14-year-old girl died, and eight other people were hospitalized. Nearby Mesa (AZ) saw two more people dead and two others injured outside a bar. Texas, Georgia, New York, and Michigan had more mass shootings this week, resulting in a total of at least 246 throughout the U.S. since January 1, 2022—157 days. A mass shooting is defined as “one that injures or kills four or more people.”

The definition of freedom to 44 percent of Republicans is forcing fear on everyone as they walk on the streets, shop, send their children to school, go to a hospital or doctor’s office, honor their religious faith, attend festivals, have a night out on the town, even stay home. The only safe place where Republicans ban guns is at an NRA convention.

May 11, 2022

Abortion Update, DDT’s Endorsements

As expected, the Democratic bill to preserve reproductive rights for women went down 51-49 in the Senate. The 50 Republicans were joined by West Virginia’s “Democrat” Joe Manchin. Nebraska’s Ben Sasse had the gall—or naivety or stupidity—to suggest that GOP could use the refusal of these rights for the chance to expand social safety nets for children and mothers. He obviously hasn’t been observing his own party—or his own votes. In another classic argument against the bill, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) compared women to sea turtles, saying women’s rights should be overturned because of the penalty in destroying sea turtle eggs. If the issue, killing women and losing rights, were not so serious, the responses would be hysterically funny. Like this tweet:

“IF WE COULD LAY EGGS OUTSIDE OUR BODY, WE WOULDN’T BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION YOU PIECE OF SHIT.”

Mike Frog explained:

“The human race is not endangered, only white Americans are and they know it. That’s what this is all about.”

There was no hope from the beginning because of the 60-percent mandate for passing and Senate legislation, but 49 Democrats tried. Even Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), usually siding with the Republicans, voted in favor of the bill, but the conservative big business giving her donations, including the pharmaceutical industry, supports women’s reproductive rights, knowing that they spend a lot of money.

Another Supreme Court leak, the fourth one about overturning Roe v. Wade, reports that conservative justices siding with Samuel Alito in removing women’s reproductive rights have switched their votes. Before Alito’s rough draft was leaked, the Wall Street Journal gave behind-the-scenes details about discussion regarding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that could lead to the elimination of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) claim that he’s not a “moron” when he says the leak comes from someone on the left, but the two most recent links show conservatives are likely the sieve. An attorney close to several conservative justices said about Chief Justice John Roberts’ earlier decisions supporting the Affordable Care Act:

 “There is a price to be paid for what he did. Everybody remembers it.”

Despite the hue and cry about leaks being an assault on the court, the conservative justices are assaulting the people of the United States.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) pointed out that one of Roe’s opponents, Brett Kavanaugh, had not been properly vetted before the confirmation because the FBI was blocked from conducting a proper background after accusations of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is suffering from more “chalk attacks” written on the sidewalk in front of her home and has again called the Bangor police. The city has removed the writing with the notation of a complaint of “graffiti on public property.”

Election season is upon the U.S. for over six months, and endorsements by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has added to the heartburn suffered by Republicans. Yesterday, they dodged a bullet in Nebraska when serial Christian evangelist groper Charles Herbster missed a GOP primary win for governor. Despite multiple women from both parties witnessing and experiences Herbster’s unwanted advances, DDT, who also sexually assaulted women, told people to vote for him. DDT said, “He’s the most innocent human being … the last person to do any of this stuff.” Herbster, who had hired two DDT campaign leaders, Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie, conceded the election but told his audience to watch Rigged, Bossie’s movie with lies about DDT’s “stolen” election. The term-limited incumbent governor endorsed winner Jim Pillen, whose win probably puts another Republican into the governor’s mansion. The moderate conservative also lost.

All 13 state senators, including five Republicans, pushed back at Herbster’s denial of the “highly credible, corroborated allegations.” With no political experience, Herbster carried other baggage. He declared himself a fifth-generation Nebraska cattle rancher but dropped out of the 2014 governor’s race with allegations that the $18,000 house was not his residence. He owned a $435,000 house he owns in Kansas City (MO) and donated almost $9 million of his own money to his campaign, almost all of it gone.         

Even Kellyanne Conway, who worked for Herbster, knew about the allegations almost a year before the story broke, but she assumed the bipartisan group was just lying. The race was still fairly tight with Herbster picking up almost 80,000 votes at 30.2 percent of the GOP total number and Pillen getting 33 percent.

DDT also lost his favorite in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district, Steve Kuehl, although he didn’t make an endorsement. At his May 1 rally, DDT denounced incumbent Don Bacon, saying, “I hope you vote like hell against that guy.” Bacon voted for the first infrastructure bill and defeated Kuehl by 44 points. Kuehl came in at 14,000 votes, 23 percent of the total. Incumbent Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen handily defeated his two opponents who pushed DDT’s message about “election security.

Nebraska voters also didn’t send Rep. Jeff Fortenberry back to Congress after he was convicted of lying to federal investigators about illegal campaign contributions of $30,000. He had resigned after the conviction but stayed in the race. Despite his legal problems, Fortenberry got almost 10,000 votes at 12 percent of the total. At DDT’s May 1 rally, he defended Fortenberry, saying it was “very unfair” that Fortenberry might end up “in jail for a tiny amount of money.” The former congressman will be sentenced in June for three felonies.  

DDT did come up victorious in the West Virginia congressional race between two incumbents after the state lost one of its seats. Voters preferred the farther right one, Alex Mooney, despite his opponent, David McKinley, voting against massive funds for the state in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Mooney is being investigated for possible use of campaign funds for personal expenses. GOP Gov. Jim Justice supported McKinley. Republicans are hoping to take over the House. If they do, West Virginia should expect less federal money for their impoverished population, crumbling infrastructure, and lack of health care.

Tuesdays are busy. Here’s a calendar of 2022 primaries for all the 435 House members, 34 U.S. Senators, 36 governors, and thousands of state legislators. Five states are up next Tuesday, May 17.

Last week, DDT won his endorsement of J.D. Vance for the GOP U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio after the author of Hillbilly Elegy completely reversed his revulsion for DDT and campaigning on sinking to greater lows that DDT. Before DDT won in 2016, Vance wrote that DDT is either a “cynical asshole” or “America’s Hitler.” In October 2016, he called DDT “noxious,” “reprehensible,” and an “idiot.” Last summer, he told Molly Bang that to get the Republican vote he needed “to just suck it up and support” DDT.

Some Vance “winning” positions:

Vance is backed by the Mercer family, who formerly funded DDT, and venture capitalist Peter Thiel as well as supported by planners of overturning the election, including Steve Bannon.  Fox’s Tucker Carlson also helped Vance’s campaign by telling DDT that the supporter of Vance’s opponent, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, has an embarrassing and “chronic” sexual habit and was at odds with DDT’s position on China and trade. The opponent’s sexual habits were also questioned. DDT picked Vance. It didn’t even matter than DDT couldn’t remember Vance’s initials—or his last name when he endorsed “JP Mandel” at a rally.

Vance’s desperation showed last week when he accused President Joe Biden of intentionally allowing deadly drugs such as fentanyl to come into the U.S. with Biden’s purpose to kill DDT’s supporters in the “heartland” of the country. Yet in Biden’s first year, he captured 50 percent more fentanyl than DDT did in his last year. Deaths from drug overdoses during DDT’s four years increased 45 percent. The rate under Biden is slower. As for targeting “MAGA voters,” overdose deaths increased most among people of color, primarily Black men, not DDT’s typical voter. The highest increase between 2019 and 2021 was also in teenagers age 14 to 18, youth too young to vote. Glenn Kessler, a tough judge, award Vance’s lie with four Pinocchios, the highest number possible. Vance had zero evidence for his false claims.

In 2018, DDT tweeted a wholehearted endorsement for Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) in his re-election campaign, writing he “has done a great job. He has my complete and total Endorsement!” Facing sexual misconduct claims, Reed has resigned. Last year, he said he considered running for New York governor but now has no election plans this year. Instead, he has joined a lobbying firm.

Outside the U.S., Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator whose family stole billions of dollars from the Philippines, is now the new president by a landslide. A revolution threw out his father. Jr. takes over from the brutal Rodrigo Duterte, whose daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, is the next vice president. One-fifth of the population is below the poverty line. Jr. plans to shield Duterte from any prosecution at the International Criminal Court. What else he plans is uncertain because Jr. avoided debates and interviews.  

August 1, 2021

Arizona ‘Fraudit,’ More DDT Disasters

Almost 100 days after Cyber Ninjas, controlled by conspiracy theorist Doug Logan, began a huge fiasco to prove Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) won Arizona in the 2020 presidential election by counting the gallots again, the debacle has almost completely fallen apart. Recent developments:

Republicans in the state Senate returned almost 2.1 million ballots, possibly damaged after experimental treatment by novices.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett unquit after he resigned his position as liaison between the ballot count and GOP senators; he reported Ninjas hid their results from him and perhaps falsified data through manipulation. Bennett had been banned from the vote-counting facility because he gave information to an outside group of professional election auditors about the discrepancy of the amateur count and the public records.

Logan has never provided the promised reports of the Ninjas’ work.

GOP Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chair Warren Petersen authorized new subpoenas for more data from Maricopa County and administrator-level access to the voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion stated it will not cooperate with companies not authorized by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Maricopa County already must pay $3.5 million for new voting machines because of the Ninjas’ damage.

Twitter permanently suspended the account @ArizonaAudit as well as seven other pro-audit accounts promoting DDT’s election lies for violating its rules on platform manipulation and spam.

AZ Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita became the third GOP state senator to criticize the ballot count, accusing Fann of a “total lack of competence” in managing the project when she delegated everything to private contractors and hid the process from the public and legislative members.

Cyber Ninjas received $5.7m in donations from DDT’s supporters believing in the lie of the “stolen election,” including $3.25m from Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, who said the 2020 election was “rigged.” Other donations were almost $1 million from QAnon Michael Flynn’s America’s Future, $605,000 from One America News Network Christina Bobb’s Voices and Votes, and $550,000 from DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell’s Defending the Public. Only $150,000 came from Arizona taxpayers. Byrne also funded a documentary, The Deep Rig, spreading lies about election fraud; Logan had a major part in the movie. Flynn said the election could cause a military coup in the U.S. as it recenty did in Myanmar, and Powell faces possible disbarment for her lies in lawsuits for DDT’s “stolen election” myth.

Apologia Church in Phoenix, which defied any lockdowns last year, provided food for counters.

The GOP Senate removed election responsibilities from the Secretary of State, and a number of people are running for the position in 2022. One of them, state GOP Rep. Mark Finchem, was found to lie about his presence at the January 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol. He not only posted a photograph of rioters wearing his black hat on social media but also praised the insurrectionists. Finchem’s campaign slogan is “Prove It,” claiming he wants proof of no fraud in the election despite no one can prove any fraud. Apparently, the photos of him “prove it” about the claim that he lied about his whereabouts on January 6.

The DOJ released two documents to guide elections to ensure election records are appropriately kept and maintained in accordance with civil rights law and the audit process is not intended to intimidate voters. The latter came after Arizona intended to call voters to go into homes asking voters how they cast their ballots. Earlier, politicians said they had dropped this activity, but people still followed through this illegal act in a few counties. The DOJ said it “will act” if these audits have the “purpose nor the effect of dissuading qualified citizens from participating in the electoral process.” The second guidance stated that the change back to earlier voting procedures from pandemic voting methods of mail and early in-person voting will not automatically be lawful. At least 18 states have passed or considered new laws to put barriers to voting, primarily for minorities and low-income people.

DDT raised $100 million by saying the money would go to ballot reviews on behalf of the “stolen election” movement. He uses the funds for his travel, legal costs, and staff as well as saving for a possible presidential run in 2024.

While the Arizona ballot count falls apart, DDT faces more problems:

The DOJ permitted six years of his tax returns to be released to the House Ways and Means Committee because federal law gives congressional tax-related committees a “broad right” toi obtain taxpayer information from the Treasury Department. Committees are denied this disclosure “only in exceptional circumstances.” A year ago, the Supreme Court directed DDT’s tax returns and other financial records to be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“Leave the rest to me,” said DDT when he directed the DOJ to declare the 2020 presidential election corrupt with no evidence of widespread fraud and overturn Joe Biden’s win for president. DDT’s onslaught on the DOJ began with a telephone call on December 27. Congress now has documentation of the telephone call perhaps leading to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. DDT’s lies led GOP congressional members to follow his lead, especially after he told DOJ he could get his “allies” to back his claims if the DOJ signed off on his mission. Named allies included Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). As Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) pointed out, the notes prove DDT told the DOJ “to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency.” Bipartisan courts, election officials, and investigations have rejected any evidence of fraud, but Republicans, including  at least 147 House Republicans voting against the election certification, still push the conspiracy theory.

This call was only one of the almost daily ones from DDT to Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 to deliver his lies about voter fraud and improper vote counts. Notes by Richard Donoghue, former deputy AG, include those for meetings with DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin who pushed “Italygate,” a conspiracy theory that people in Italy remotely tampered with U.S. voting machines with military technology.

The DOJ will not invoke executive privilege for questions about contacts with DDT asking for investigations, support of voting manipulation, and other roadblocks to Biden’s election. In that way, anyone can testify about their communications with DDT. Calls from DDT and Meadows started after former AG Bill Barr left his position and ended after the January 6 insurrection. Without satisfaction from Rosen, DDT considered replacing him with a DOJ senior lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, because he was more supportive of DDT’s voter fraud lies.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a conspiracy theorist, failed to persuade three counties to hand over voting machines and other election materials. They cited no proof of fraud and their unwillingness to pay tens of millions of dollars for voting machine damage. Philadelphia said the cost could be over $35 million and over a year to implement the process. Mastriano threatened to issue subpoenas if counties won’t give him what he wants, but he needs support from other Republicans and isn’t on the committee to have jurisdiction over voting issues.

DDT has lost his first candidate endorsement for far-right supporters after former Rep Ron Wright’s (R-TX) widow lost her run to replace him. Wright died of COVID in February. She was ahead by 17 points in May before DDT’s endorsement but behind by 15 points afterwards. GOP opponent Jake Ellzey beat her with over 53 percent of the vote. DDT’s next endorsement runs on Tuesday in an Ohio primary.

DDT’s friend Tom Barrack, senior adviser for DDT’s 2016 campaign and chair of his inaugural committee, got out of jail by posting a $250 million bail bond after he was arrested for working as an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates and advising DDT to benefit the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Lying to the FBI, Barrack has been charged with seven counts heavily documented with thousands of records showing he provided UAE officials with sensitive classified information, including information about the Qatari blockade, and helped Saudi Arabia’s senior leaders.

Barrack followed other DDT’s criminal friends—chair of DDT’s 2016 campaign Paul Manafort for banking and tax fraud; deputy campaign manager Rick Gates for bank fraud, money laundering, etc.; campaign CEO and DDT’s special counsel Steve Bannon for criminal conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering; DDT’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen for tax fraud, bank fraud, campaign finance violations, etc.; DDT’s friend Roger Stone on seven counts of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and lying to Congress; Michael Flynn for twice lying to FBI investigators; and others for various crimes. DDT’s close associates followed the pattern of dozens near President Richard Nixon who were sent to jail and dozens more in President Ronald Reagan’s administration who were indicted and sometimes convicted. In all three administrations, criminal charges largely focused on abuses of power for political ends.

Remember when DDT said he’d pick only the “best people”?

March 17, 2021

GOP Votes Oppose Help for U.S. People

Wednesday, 172 House Republicans voted in favor of domestic violence and opposed a law’s renewal to protect women. The Violence against Women Act, originally passed in 1994 and periodically requiring reauthorization, faces increasing struggles as Republicans oppose funding to protect women from domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. Objections this year came from ensuring accountability for non-tribal offenders on tribal lands and closure of the “boyfriend loophole,” barring stalkers from obtaining firearms. The bill includes housing vouchers to help survivors in federally-assisted housing to quickly relocate if necessary. Another provision permits people to obtain unemployment insurance if they must leave a job for their safety.

With COVID-19 forcing people to stay at home, domestic violence incidents have sharply risen within the past year, and organizations have offered more flexible texting services and housing assistance. One report shows an eight-percent rise in domestic violence, and another study shows an increase of injuries at emergency room patients from this violence.

The bill requires 60 Senate votes to pass because of the watered-down filibuster. Now, one person can announce a filibuster, and no action is taken until 60 percent of senators move it forward.  Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has already said that barring a stalker from owning a gun to menace a domestic partner with a gun is unconstitutional.

The lack of GOP support for women came the day after a young white man killed eight people in Georgia, six of them women of Asian descent. The reason, according to the killer, was an attempt to avoid “temptation” for his “sex addiction.” The killer was having “a bad day,” explained the officer, who has posted racist COVID messages on social media. He said that the alleged killer “was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope.” The young man was apprehended on his way to Florida to kill more women. He said he had frequented massage parlors and killed the people, seven of them women, for “vengeance.”

Organizations studying and tracking hate groups and violence described “male supremacy terrorism,” driven by aggrieved male entitlement and a desire to preserve traditional gender roles. Three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism began tracking male supremacist ideology, and the Anti-Defamation League published a report called “When Women are the Enemy: The Intersection of Misogyny and White Supremacy.” According to the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, the ideology’s two core beliefs are that “men are entitled to sexual access to women” and that “feminists are a malevolent force controlling society at the expense of men.” Men have used these beliefs to justify mass shootings at yoga and fitness studios frequented by women, the slaughter of 10 people in Toronto in 2018, and the 2011 shooting deaths of 77 people in Norway by Anders Breivik, who viewed feminism as a significant threat.

As right-wingers, led by former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), used racist language to describe the global epidemic, Stop AAPI Hate reported 3,795 hate incidents including name-calling, shunning, and assault in the U.S. against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders during the past year. The number could be much higher because not all incidents are reported. Most were against women, in businesses, and on public sidewalks or streets, the report said. Other events included civil rights violations such as workplace discrimination or refusal of service and online harassment.

Last week, a 75-year-old defenseless Asian man was killed in Oakland’s (CA) Chinatown on his morning walk. A friend had warned him about the danger of being there because Asian people were being attacked. Carl Chan, the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said that seniors were afraid to walk on the streets because of hateful attacks after political statements about the “Chinese virus” or the “kung flu.”

The suspected Georgia killer, who has confessed, was an active member with his parents in the evangelical church Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton (GA). Brett Cottrell, the youth and missions pastor from 2008 to 2017, talked about the killer’s participation “in everything we did.” Crabapple is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and theologically conservative with mostly white members. The group is opposed to “critical race theory, “intersectionality, and the social justice movement in Baptist circles.

In another House bill, passing by 413-12, the 12 self-professed “law and order” Republicans voted against giving the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police for their bravery on January 6 when insurrectionists stormed the building. According to the bill, the three medals would be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, and the Smithsonian. Naysayers said they opposed the terrorist attack being called an insurrection. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) lobbied for a bill with no mention of January 6 or the Capitol attack. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) didn’t want the medal to be displayed at the Smithsonian. In February, the Senate voted to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman for putting himself in harm’s way to protect lawmakers and staff during the assault on Congress.

First, Republicans tried to block the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) by unanimously voting against it. Almost three-fourths of people approved of ARPA, including 59 percent of Republicans, so those voting no tried to take credit for it. Now both President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris, and their spouses, Dr. Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, are crossing the U.S. to talk about the benefits while the IRS has already sent out 90 million relief checks of $1,400 each. Republicans and the media criticize Biden for not spending enough time talking with the media, but he has historically talked to both small and large groups of people.  

Republicans hoped voters would turn against the law; now they are concerned Biden will move forward with more approval of his agenda. The real GOP concern is the 2022 election, a little more than a year away.

The RNC struggles with refuting ARPA after supporting deficit-spending such as massive cuts for the wealthy and businesses plus giving hundreds of billions of dollars to large businesses in a bill supposedly to save people from the economic pain of COVID-19. Earlier this year, they were overwhelmed by the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol and DDT’s impeachment for inciting violence.

People like ARPA because it benefits the middle class over wealthy people, helps with vaccinations, and supports the opening of schools. The GOP can only wish people will forget ARPA’s benefits before the election; Democrats are intent on that forgetfulness not happening. When Republicans try to take credit for ARPA benefits, Democrats say, “You voted against it.” Republicans are working on publicity about the immigrants at the southern border, but the issue has no connection to the relief bill.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin benefited Biden’s bill by stashing away “well over $1 trillion” at the end of DDT’s presidential term when he assumed the former White House would pass a sizeable relief bill. Almost 100 million people got their $1,400 checks within two days of ARPA’s signing instead of waiting two weeks as they did with DDT because he wanted his name on the check.

Even the House chaplain supported U.S. people in distress from DDT’s mismanagement of the pandemic. In a prayer, Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben asked God to forgive Republicans:

“For when called upon to respond to a once-in-a-century pandemic that has rocked our country, upended its economy and widened the chasm of partisan opinion, they have missed the opportunity to step above the fray and unite to attend to this national crisis…

“In failing to address the acrimony and divisions which have prevailed in this room, the servants you have called to lead this country have contributed to the spread of an even more insidious contagion of bitterness and spite.”

Her reference to the New Testament’s letter to the Colossians argued that “rather than employing the preventive measures of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” lawmakers have set that “armor” aside “in favor of argument, disparaging words and divisiveness.” In recalling the Gospel of Mark’s third chapter of “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” she said Congress stands “in need of healing and reconciliation.”

Kibben concluded:

“Merciful Lord, rebuild this House, that their labor will not be in vain.”

ARPA will stay in the news if Ohio GOP AG David Yost continues his lawsuit against the Biden administration. He claims the prohibition of this federal money to states and municipalities to offset new tax cuts is unconstitutional. Ohio receives $11.2 billion, but GOP Gov. Mike DeWine ordered $390 million in new spending cuts among state agencies. Leaders of 21 other red states wrote Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the provision “would represent the greatest invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic.” A White House official pointed out states aren’t blocked from tax cuts: they just need to replace the revenue without using stimulus funds.

Not all Republicans are stupid about ARPA money. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told the state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis to refuse all the money to the state. DeSantis has already made plans for spending his $10 billion.

August 25, 2020

Darkness of GOP Convention, DDT Dictatorship

The GOP presidential campaign began this morning. Last week, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) had complained the Democratic convention was the “darkest” and “gloomiest” one in history, and he promised to outdo that convention. He succeeded. From his acceptance speech this morning when he raged about mail-in voting to Tim Scott’s about Democrats’ racism, all optimism was abandoned on Day One of the GOP convention. Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, outdid all the other speakers however, especially in volume, when she yelled the message of the evening, “[Democrats] want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom.” (She also lied about being “a first generation American.) “For some unknown reason, the party wanting to erase a free media thinks Democrats want to erase freedom of speech and thought. Cuban American immigrant Maximo Alvarez accused Joe Biden of being like Castro because Biden claims to be a Roman Catholic. (He really is.)

Because DDT has manifested so many racial qualities, speakers both defended DDT and accused all Democrats of being racists and deliberately harming Blacks. Over half of the country thinks DDT is a racist, including 14 percent of Republicans. Also struggling with COVID-19, DDT talked with a few healthcare workers. Videos also showed Democrats downplaying the virus’ severity (back during a time when they were trying to get equipment and supplies from DDT) while he took his one “decisive action”—banning some travel from China.

Although DDT ridiculed the taped speeches at the Democratic convention, all except one speech, that from Guilfoyle, were taped in the same huge hall with flags in the background, giving a stale feeling to the performance. The beginning message was a desire for the “America comeback”—after DDT have been in the leadership role for almost three years and seven months.

New York Times tried to fact check.

A few lies I jotted down:

Charlie Kirk talked about Democrats catering to “faceless corporations.” (That’s the Republicans’ job.)

A teacher praised DDT’s love for the children. (But just the white ones.)

According to a women in Montana, God gave her money from the government for her business. (I thought it was Congress and the taxpayers.)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) criticized Democrats for their support for “celebrities.” (The Apprentice produced tonight’s event.

Calling herself a “real housewife,” Ronna McDaniel, RNC chair, described DDT as having “deep love for family” and “comforts Americans in times of pain and sadness.” (When?)

Other consistent lies were the “greatest economy the world has ever seen” and efficiency in getting ventilators and supplies to states. (Nope.)

The classic performance came from the Mark and Patricia McCloskey (upper right), St. Louis personal injury lawyers who pulled guns on a group of protesters many of them black who walked on the sidewalk and street in front of the McCloskeys on the way to the mayor’s house to demonstrate. Their sweet earnestness was supposed to represent the suburbs being menaced by the “black hoards” although they live in the middle of the city. (Check out their record in suing people and being bad neighbors to the Jewish synagogue next door.) 

DDT spent last week proving his “dictator” title.

In the midst of 12,000 lightning strikes, California is trying to cope with the worst fires in history. During his speech in Pennsylvania, DDT sounded like a mob boss when he threatened to withhold money from California. ‘

“I said you gotta clean your floors. You gotta clean your forests. Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it, because they don’t listen to us.”

In California, each resident sends $348 more money than the state receives—a total of $13.7 billion. California taxpayers provides about 15 percent of total revenues for the U.S. In addition, the Border Patrol is terrorizing immigrants: agents pretend to be firefighters and then arrest people believed to be undocumented. Ten of the arrested men in California were certified firefighters from Oregon. [Other horrifying photos of a California fire.] 

On the last night of the Democratic convention, DDT called Sean Hannity to make another false tirade about voter fraud. Despite no evidence of any individual voting fraud at the polls, he said he would send law enforcement to pools—sheriffs, law enforcement, U.S. attorneys, “everybody, and attorney generals [sic].” At the same time, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered a tribute to the late civil rights icon John Lewis.

“There are those who are disgracefully using this pandemic to spread misinformation and interfere with voting, forcing many in 2020 to still risk their lives to exercise their sacred right to vote, a right that has already been paid for with the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of so many. So let’s stand up for our children, our children’s children, and for this great democracy that our ancestors worked to build, and let’s vote.”

It wasn’t the first time DDT had made that claim. In Altoona (PA) during his last campaign, he said he’d call in law enforcement, sheriffs, and police chiefs although hadn’t been elected. In a 1981 roadblock, the GOP was barred from dispatching poll watchers for over 30 years after a lawsuit because the RNC used “poll watchers”—off-duty sheriffs and police officers with “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands—to stand round in polling places of minority precincts and intimidate non-White voters. The ban on that activity expired in early 2018.

DDT pulled the U.S. out of the Iran agreement to not built nuclear weapons, but he still wants control. The sanctions against Iran’s buying and selling conventional weapons expires in October, but DDT wants to reimpose these sanctions in a “snapback.” In a meeting with the UN ambassador from Indonesia, head of the Security Council this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will veto any move for prohibitions to be lifted.  Russia, France, Germany, and Britain pointed out that the U.S. has no voice in the matter because it dropped out of the deal. DDT, who attacked the UN and unilaterally sanctioned Iran, now try to invoke the agreement he rejected to keep the constraints on Iran. John Bolton, former national security adviser, said, “We’re in the nuclear deal for purposes we want but not for those we don’t.” He added the U.S. veto in the Security Council can be undermined. Lead diplomat of the U.S. sneered at Russia and China, claiming is opposition is “disinformation tactics” before he tore down relationships with Europe by claiming “they chose to side with the ayatollahs.” DDT maintains he has a voice in the deal because the U.S. was a “participant state” in the original agreement. All the countries met their parts of the agreement until DDT announced his intention of dropping out.

DDT’s administration is hiring a private security company secretly keeping migrant children as young as one-year-old at major hotel chains. Instead of stopping additional migration, the policy of closing the border has caused the border crossings to surge because some legal consequences for repeat attempts have been eliminated. Using transportation workers not licensed to provide child care, the process allows abuse of children who have no access to parents or lawyers. No one can guarantee children are provided phones, healthy food, and medical/mental healthcare. Detention is at a Quality Suites (San Diego), Hampton Inns (Phoenix, McAllen and El Paso, TX), Comfort Suits (Miami), Best Western (Los Angeles), and Econo Lodge (Seattle). ICE guards have also been found systematically sexually assaulting immigrants in an El Paso detention facility with about 50,000 immigrants annually at a taxpayer expense of $2.7 billion.

In a “prebuttal” to Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic Convention, VP Mike Pence compared the number of manufacturing jobs he created to those DDT created. He picked the day that DDT called for a boycott on Goodyear because a local Kansas station ran a story about Goodyear diversity training slideshow recommended workers not wear political attire—including MAGA clothing Goodyear stated it did not create, distribute, or use the production. Yet DDT tweeted:

“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!)”

DDT desperately wants to win Ohio, the home of Goodyear in Akron.

Joe Biden is running this ad in Ohio and North Carolina where Goodyear has a plant near Fayetteville:

“A company with a 122-year history in Akron, Ohio; thousands of American workers, and competitors all over the world; and a sitting president, who’s spinning out of control, would risk American jobs to try to save his own.”

The Lincoln Project, Republicans opposing the reelection of DDT, has this ad. The day after DDT called for the boycott, he said he recognized Goodyear workers could lose their jobs but they could “get another good jobs [sic]”.

A quotation from DDT: “Women—treat ‘em like shit.” DDT has never denied saying this.

November 26, 2018

Conservative Politicians Continue Far-right Activities

Last week, many people vacationed—including Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) vacationed for Thanksgiving, but politicians kept busy.

Sent to the Pacific Rim APEC trade summit last weekend, VP Mike Pence worsened global affairs of 21 nations representing 60 percent of the world’s economy with his refusal to compromise with China. Instead, China continued bonding with North Korea. The conflict was so bad that the group couldn’t even agree on a routine joint statement for the first time in 30 years. DDT frequently asks people if Pence is loyal. The answers have varied from Pence as a committed warrior to ending his usefulness because DDT needs female voters. One of DDT’s concerns might be Pence’s promise of consequences for the Saudis’ killing U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi despite DDT’s attempt to cover for the Saudis.

Two days before Thanksgiving, John Kelly, DDT’s chief of staff, signed a “Cabinet order,” a memo allowing U.S. troops, 5,900 active duty members and 2,100 National Guard members, on the Mexico border to use lethal force. DDT had already left town for Mar-a-Lago. This past weekend, ICE agents fired tear gas, a deadly chemical, at mostly Honduran asylum seekers near the Tijuana port of entry.

Hillary Clinton was pilloried for using a secure private server for her emails, but the GOP refused to criticize Ivanka Trump for using her personal email account that she shared with her husband, Jared Kushner, to send hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials, and her assistants, frequently in violation of federal records rules. When she first joined the White House, she claimed all access and perks of the White House with none of the legal responsibilities or constraints. Maybe investigations by the FBI and Congress? Or cries of “Lock her up” and “Crooked Ivanka”?

Lame duck House Republicans subpoenaed former FBI director James Comey and former DOJ AG Loretta Lynch to appear in private hearings this week. Comey said he is willing to appear in an open hearing but not a closed one:

“While the authority for Congressional subpoenas is broad, it does not cover the right to misuse closed hearings as a political stunt to promote political as opposed to legislative agendas.”

DDT’s appointment of lap dog Matthew Whitaker as acting DOJ AG may fail to give him protection. According to an argument in court from the Robert Mueller investigation team:

“The validity of the Special Counsel’s appointment [in May 2017] cannot be retroactively affected by a change in the official who is serving as the Acting Attorney General.”

Two rulings, one by a DDT-appointed judge, have already upheld the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment. Three Senate Democrats are also suing to have Whitaker removed on constitutional and legal grounds.

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking a case about whether Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, an odd move because the case is already being heard in a New York court with closing arguments next week. The Constitution requires an accurate count of the population every ten years, something that will be lost if the estimated 24+ million people avoid the census because of fear. The census is used not only for congressional districting but allocation of federal funds, disaster and epidemic preparedness, and other government support. Ross has skipped the lengthy approval process about new survey questions and lied when he said that the DOJ had requested the addition of a citizenship question to enforce the Voting Rights Act. The Department of Commerce has only six months to submit the information to printers.

More people may not participate in the census after DDT’s proposal that census information be shared with law enforcement, an illegal action under the Census Act of 1879. In 1954, Congress passed a law stating that the Commerce Department cannot share its census data with any other government agency or court with up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for violation. Only Congress can change this law. When Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) asked acting assistant attorney general John Gore about data being disclosed “for law enforcement or national security purposes,” DOJ attorney Ben Aguinaga answered, “I don’t think we want to say too much there in case the issues . . . or related issues come up later for renewed debate.” In other words, maybe.

DDT may not get the trade agreement similar to and replacing NAFTA that he proudly announced weeks ago. Republican lawmakers are furious about the nondiscrimination protections of sexual orientation and gender identity included by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Several GOP members of Congress object to the new trade agreement because of this one provision, but it must be passed by the end of the year to avoid the Democratic majority in the House on the first of January. Congress has just 12 days to not only pass the agreement but also agree on the farm bill and keep the government from shutting down on December 7 with DDT threatening to allow this to happen if he doesn’t get his wall.

Farmers hurt by DDT’s tariffs are promised $12 billion say they don’t want to be on the dole, but they’re not even getting the promised welfare. Only $838 million of authorized $6 billion has been paid out because farmers cannot apply until harvests are completed for the season, harvests delayed by bad weather. Soybean sales shrank by 94 percent from last year, and the subsidy covers less than half the farmers’ losses. China pork tariffs that responded to DDT’s steel and aluminum tariffs cost farmers $2 billion. Partners with farmers also get government money; Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) might get $125,000, the subsidy cap. Farmers may permanently lose their foreign countries for crops, and DDT’s tariffs may force the U.S. to keep borrowing money from China to pay for farmers.

For the second year in a row, DDT is skipping the Kennedy Center Honors, again because he doesn’t feel comfortable.

While people in the U.S. complain about Russia interfering with elections, DDT campaign worker and sycophant Steve Bannon played a role in the UK passing Brexit, supporting the nation’s separation from the European Union. Emails dating back to October 2015 reveal that Bannon, former VP of Cambridge Analytic, participated in the campaign to persuade UK voters in supporting the separation from EU. Like the U.S. the UK has laws to stop foreign companies from manipulating UK affairs.

Mississippi votes for a U.S. senator in a runoff tomorrow; the GOP candidate, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, announced last Tuesday that it was on November 22, the day of her announcement, but that was Thanksgiving. After her lauding public hangings, a number of large companies—including Aetna, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Leidos, Pfizer, Union Pacific, and Walmart—asked her to return their donations. DDT, who failed to attending lacked the time to go to Arlington National Cemetery close to the White House or visit military members on Veterans Day, extended his Thanksgiving vacation to give two campaign rallies in Mississippi today for the GOP Senate candidate.

Since the midterm elections when the Senate election to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned to become AG before he was fired, several revelations have caused concern for Republicans about Hyde-Smith’s success. After she talked favorably about public hangings (aka lynchings), she suggested that black students should not be able to vote. Photos of her posing with Confederate artifacts at the “Shrine of [treasonous] Jefferson Davis” and the caption “Mississippi history at its best!” were accompanied by information that she promoted a measure praising a Confederate soldier’s effort to “defend his homeland” and pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War. She not only attended a private high school to avoid integrated schools but also enrolled her daughter in a “segregation academy.” The daughter graduated in 2017.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), considering a run for president, gave an interview to the New York Times about the reading habits of himself and his family. An analysis of his 33 book recommendations show all were written by white authors. Sasse’s three children, ages 17, 15, and 8, are homeschooled, probably reading no books of people by color.

The Ohio state House argued that “Motherhood is necessary” to ban abortions at six weeks, before a pregnancy appears on an ultrasound which is not medically recommended. The law is unconstitutional unless the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Even if the bill passes the state Senate, it cannot become law without Gov. John Kasich’s signature because Gov.-elect Mike DeVine cannot sign a bill passed by the legislature before he takes office.

On the more positive side, Maine will have Medicaid expansion after the departure of rabidly right-wing Gov. Paul LePage. He had refused to follow orders from the state Supreme Court to obey a vote by the people.

A U.S. district court judge ordered ICE to release over 100 Iraqis from detention centers and jails in Michigan after they had been there for more than a year. They are to be released within 30 days under “orders of supervision” and allowed to return to their homes. The majority of the detainees had been living in the U.S. for decades. Although they committed criminal offenses, they had served their time and been living “peaceably in their respective communities” since then, according to the ruling. The opinion also cites ICE’s refusal to provide documents to detainees’ attorneys, and the judge wrote that he will be issuing sanctions against ICE. Detainees had not been permitted in-person visits from family and friends, and the majority would be persecuted and even murdered if they were forced to return to Iraq because they are Christians.

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